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WATCH: Texas Inhibits Ballot Access by Penalizing Voters

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgzD29z2wHU&feature=youtu.be

In a video produced by Texans for Voter Choice, Linda Curtis of Independent Texans PAC discusses a unique rule in Texas that limits third party and independent candidate options for ballot access by "penalizing voters."

The rule says that if a voter participates in a Democratic or Republican primary, he or she cannot sign a petition to get a third party or independent candidate on the November ballot. State law essentially treats this as the equivalent of voting twice in the primary stage.

"We're the only state in the country that deems a signature a vote in a way by saying you cannot vote in the primary and then sign for an independent or third party or so-called 'minor party.' That is just nonsense. No one does it, because signing something to put somebody on the ballot, or put a party on the ballot is not a vote," says Curtis.

Texans for Voter Choice is currently pushing a bill in the Texas Legislature that aims to improve ballot access and voter choice in the Lone Star State. HB 3068, also known as the Texas Voter Choice Act, has 4 key provisions:

  • Establishes Reasonable Signature Requirements and Filing Deadlines
  • Authorizes Voters to Sign Nomination Petitions Online
  • Eliminates Restrictions on Voters’ Right to Sign Nomination Petitions
  • Eliminates Unneeded Filing Requirements for Candidates

With the end of the 2017 session closing in fast, time is not on the side of HB 3068. The bill has been left pending in committee and Sine Die (session adjournment) is May 29.

Photo Credit: Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com

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